Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Year of Romance - April

Good morning, everybody!

I hope you are seeking to be a blessing to your husband today, and every day. If this is your first time here, you have come on a good day. This is April's edition of a look at keeping the Romance alive within our marriages.

Here is the foundational scripture that is on my heart for this year long series of posts:

"Two are better than one,
because they have a good [more satisfying] reward for their labor;
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow.
But woe to him who is alone when he falls
and has not another to lift him up!"
Ecclesiastes 4:8-10

Today we will be looking at committment, and the need to prefer one another. In other words to put your other half first. In so doing God blesses you, your union and you do not end up last.

If you and I are already blogging buddies, (and if you are new here WELCOME! I hope you will feel welcome and at home here!) well then you know my Honey fell recently and broke his arm, gave himself a black eye, and a scraped-up leg...But, he is doing very well now.

What an illustration of the scripture above, "for if they fall the other will lift up His fellow"! It also made me think of our culture's traditional wedding vows, "For rich or for poor, in sickness and in health, 'til death do us part". It reminded me of who my Honey and I were when we married at 18 and 20 years of age.
We married in 1983
. We married in spite of reservations about people being able to do what it takes to have a successful marriage. By that time (1983) divorce, and adultery were already starting to take a toll on those around us. We were both of the mind that what our generation lacked was an understanding of and a willingness to commit. We felt that if we were committed, and divorce was not an option, then though hard times would come, we could come out on the other side together. God was a distant entity in our lives at this time, but we knew enough to know that marriage was pleasing to Him, so there must be a way to make it work. It was a very humanistic effort on our part, though neither of us even knew what the word humanistic meant at that stage of our lives. (it just gives me great hope to look back and see how God protected and guided us, when we didn't know any better. I know my mother's prayers, and probably his mother's prayers were honored, just like God honors our prayers for our sons). Yes, commitment is critical and right. Divorce is not God's best, though man sometimes requires it. But none of it works like intended by God without what I call the triangle.


Christ at the top, man and wife on equal sides underneath Christ. I still remember when I was inspired with this picture during night-time devotions with my very young sons. I was so exhilerated by this epiphany. As time wore on I discovered many had this 'epiphany' before and after me! :) But, that doesn't take away from the truth of it, instead it merely illustrates God's ability to teach a seeking heart! Which gives me, and should give you, great hope!

My Honey being injured and needing assistance, and how off balance he and I both felt for the first few days, got me to pondering the whole "in sickness and in health" factor of marriage. How he has been there for me in my sickness, and how I have been there for him. How sacred the act of serving another in time of need is. How it does require that we put ourself aside and either allow someone to serve us, or to take the opportunity to serve them. Both parts require humilty, and the kind of love that Jesus meant, when He said "And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me." Luke 9:23.

In our case, each of the times he has been injured (really, only twice seriously, counting this time), and during my pregnancies and when I was sick a few years ago for a short period, we had opportunities to experience this aspect of love; the give and take of serving and being served. Our marriage was blessed and strengthened each time. If you have not experienced health issues yet in your marriage, I encourage you to not think of them as only a dire circumstance. Rather, I encourage you to consider the circumstance as an opportunity to experience God's healing power, and to use the time to slow down and get to know each other again.

There is nothing like coming out of time of trial, with a smile on your face, and the sure knowledge that you have weathered the storm together, and the storm did not get the best of you, rather together, you both got the best of it!

For us, during this time of his recuperation, we have taken this as an opportunity to spend time together, which we would not normally have had. Enjoying the outdoors, and taking photographs. Finding new ways to flirt and joke, along with lots of 1 armed man jokes! When everything is over and he and I go back to our normal routines, we will now have new memories of the time we spent together, and how well we work together.

Thanks for coming by today and thinking about your marriage, and what it means to keep the romance going. For this month I want to leave you with this scripture, because though it talks of a brotherly love, I submit to you, that true romance can't occur, unless you will put your "self" aside, in order to serve and honor your spouse.

"Love one another with brotherly affection [as members of one family], giving precedence and showing honor to one another. " Romans 12:10

Over the next few months some of the topics I will cover are: praying for each other and together, bringing out the best in each other, and the ghosts of the past. If you are interested in particpating here is where you will find the guidelines for The Year of Romance, and below you will see other wonderful women who have joined to contribute their experiences and thoughts on keeping the romance alive!


luvmy4sons said...

Great post as usual dear sister. I know that our marriage too started out humanistic but with that humanistic commitment to the odd! We married in 1984 at 20 and similar! Love ya!

Denise said...

I enjoyed this, bless you.

Sharon Brumfield said...

We married and if not for the MIGHTY patience of God--we would have never made it.
Romance has been a little rough lately.Emotional situations sometimes take our eyes away from what is important and needed.
Much prayer is needed.
Keith and I need each other.
Thank you for these reminders.

sassiekiwi said...

Excellent Post

I am not married but have many dear friends who are and who paint a picture through their marriages of what it is to be loved. As a single, I know that God desires a marriage relationship with me so this was a really great read from someone on "the inside"!


StaceyStace said...

You are so right! When we weather storms together, it sure does make us stronger.

Poopsie said...

I was immediately able to think of a time when I was layed low, and my hubby helped to lift me up. Thank you for the prompt. It meant a lot to me to take time to boost him up, even if he doesn't know about it. :)
Cindy P :)

What Does it Mean Anyway? "Free to Fly"...

Well, it's like this: Here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Free: a : having the legal and political rights of a citizen b : enjoying civil and political liberty c : enjoying political independence or freedom from outside domination d : enjoying personal freedom : not subject to the control or domination of another2 a : not determined by anything beyond its own nature or being : choosing or capable of choosing for itself...having a scope not restricted by qualification 7 a : not obstructed, restricted, or impeded ...Now, here are some of the Webster's Dictionary definitions of Fly:1 a : to move in or pass through the air with wings b : to move through the air or before the wind or through outer space c : to float, wave, or soar in the air ... a : to take flight ...6 : to work successfully ...Examples which apply from Websters: fly high : to be elated - fly in the face of or fly in the teeth of : to stand or act forthrightly or brazenly in defiance or contradiction of

What does this mean in my life? This means that in life we are meant to be free. While historically mankind has not always enjoyed the opportunity to fully appreciate what that means, we are so indescribably fortunate as to live in a time of the greatest spiritual, physical, financial and political freedom ever known. Freedom doesn't come cheap, nor does it come easy. But the best things in life don't come that way do they? As I write this I am struck by how this sounds like a political statement, and for me this is much more of a spiritual thing, but, same goes for that (political that is). Freedom doesn't come easy. And it's worth whatever fight you have to make to overcome in your life in order to live a life that succeeds. Now the questions is - what is success for you? What is your standard? In my mind what is needed is a definite target - because you can't hit and maintain a moving target. A stable, rock-solid, anchor with no variable, yet multi-faceted. Something pure, just and worthy. If you look at any web page of news you can see that our society is certainly lacking in this area. What a great time to live as a rebel! Nowadays to be a rebel, all you have to do is be willing to engage in the battle of life, while anchored to Christ!